Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster.
Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

O-12 (SS-73)


O-11 Class Submarine: Laid down, 6 March 1916, at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT.; Launched, 29 September 1917; Commissioned, USS O-12, 19 October 1918, at New York; Designated (SS-73), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned, 17 June 1924, at Philadelphia, PA.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia; Struck from the Naval Register, 29 May 1930; Transferred to USSB for conversion for Arctic exploration, renamed Nautilus; Final Disposition, scuttled, 20 November 1931 in Norwegian waters.

Specifications: Displacement, surfaced: 491 t., submerged: 566 t.; Length 175'; Beam 16' 7"; Draft 13' 11"; Speed, surfaced 14 kts, submerged 11 kts; Operational Depth Limit 200 ft; Complement 2 Officers 27 Enlisted; Armament, four 18" torpedo tubes, eight torpedoes, one 3"/23 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel-electric, Busch Sulzer Brothers Diesel Engine Co., diesels, 1,000 hp, Fuel Capacity, 18,588 gal.; Diehl Manufacture Co. electric motors, 800 hp, Battery Cells 120, single propeller.
Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By
O-12 135k Simon Lake's O-12 (SS-73) retained his trademark stern and amidships planes (shown folded down in the outboard view). Note the seperate flooding ports in the watertight superstructure. Drawing by Jim Christley, text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
N-4 62k N-4 (SS-56) outboard with O-12 (SS-73) inboard, at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT., 16 January 1917.
US Navy photo # 19-N-871B, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
N-5, 4, & O-12 110k N-4 (SS-56), N-5 (SS-57), & O-12 (SS-73) tied up to dock at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT., 1 April 1918.
US Navy photo # 19-N-884, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
O-11 through O-16 238k From inboard to outboard: O-11 (SS-72), O-13 (SS-74), O-14 (SS-75) , O-15 (SS-76), O-16 (SS-77), and O-12 (SS-73), at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard, circa 1918-24.
US Navy photo # 80-G-1024950, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
O-12 110k Starboard side view of the O-12 (SS-73), circa 1918-24. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Lake Boats 122k Lake boats show their distinctive sterns at Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1919: O-boats, inboard O-12 (SS-73), outboard O-14 (SS-75), middle boat,N-7 (SS-59) and two other unidentified boats.
After WW I the U.S. Navy standardized on Lake's flat stern, whose buoyancy kept the propellers and diving planes down in the water.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR).
Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
O-12 77k O-12 (SS-73) at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone in February 1920. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph # NH 74644 submitted by Robert Hurst.
O-11 through O-16 81k O boats possibly in Phila. PA circa 1924:
From inboard to outboard: unidentified O boat, O-11 (SS-72), O-12 (SS-73), O-16 (SS-77) & O-14 (SS-75).
US Navy photo submitted by Charles Worcester.
O-12 97k O-12 (SS-73) shown here in her decommissioned state at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Moored to the right in the photo is most likely the ex-Tonopah (M-8) or Cheyenne (M-10). Both had been used as submarine tenders. Photo provided by the late Rick Larson MMCM (SS) (ret.) via Ric Hedman.
O-12 224k O-12 (SS-73) was discarded in 1930 to be rebuilt by Lake & Danenhower Inc., of Bridgeport CT., for the Wilkins Artic expedition. Lake had long thought about submarine operations under ice; in 1903, he built a trestle atop his Protector and deliberatley operated her in iced waters. The Nautilus conversion, shown here, was far more sophisticated. Drawing by Jim Christley, text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
O-12 16k ex O-12 (SS-73), in service as Nautilus on the Wilkins-Ellsworth Arctic Expedition in 1931. US Navy Arctic Laboratory
O-12 18k ex O-12 (SS-73), in service as Nautilus on the Wilkins-Ellsworth Arctic Expedition in 1931. US Navy Arctic Laboratory.
SS 73 932k ex O-12 (SS-73) crossing ocean from New London to North Pole before it broke down and was towed to Ireland. Wilkins in command, June 1931. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
Photo added 05/29/12.
O-12 16k ex O-12 (SS-73), port bow view as Nautilus on the Wilkins-Ellsworth Arctic Expedition in 1931. Photo from the "Illustrated Directory of Submarines of the World", pg. 119, by David Miller.

View the O-12 (SS-73)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not Applicable to this Vessel
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
PigBoats.COM TM, a Historic Look at Submarines
American Philosophical Society, Nautilus (Submarine) Photograph Collection 1931

Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Submarine Index
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster
This page is created by Gary Priolo and maintained by Michael Mohl
1996 - 2014, NavSource History All rights reserved.